Remember customer service s a interactive process, the more of a (even brief) connection you have with a member of the wait staff, or store clerk, or whoever, the better the service.. These aren't little robots you brush past, people spend a chunk of their life's at work and enjoy brief moment of socializing with the folks that they meet on the job.
Trust me, working sales can be boring.
At the shops, restaurants, clubs and cantinas where I'm a regular, I know the names, marital status, and hobbies of the people who've been there for a while.
As a side effect of this, I've noticed that my drinks come faster, I get better cuts of meat, more time with sales people while picking out clothes. Bartenders use me to try out new experimentally drink concoctions as we talk sports. Sushi chef want me to provide opinions on different foods, while I tell him Japan stories.
When I was a bartender, the people who told me stories got dirtier drinks.
These are the people you meet during the course of your life, it's okay to talk to them.
beamMe, would it kill you to tell a joke?